Gas Drilling’s Environmental Threat

Vast deposits of natural gas have brought a drilling boom across much of the country, but the technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing, is suspected of causing hundreds of cases of water contamination. Now environmentalists and lawmakers are pushing for closer oversight of the gas industry, which is pushing back.

What You Need to Know About Hydrofracking

PBS "Need to Know" Focuses on hydraulic fracturing.

Drilling Industry and Gubernatorial Candidates Move to Weaken Some State Regulations

The gas and oil industry is quietly trying to weaken state regulations for drilling on land, focusing on Colorado and New Mexico, which recently tightened their rules. They're getting help from some of the gubernatorial candidates.

New York Senate Passes Temporary Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

The New York Senate passes a bill intended to temporarily ban hydraulic fracturing. But it might also end up temporarily banning most gas and oil drilling in the state.

Why Gas Leaks Matter in the Hydraulic Fracturing Debate

Methane contamination is a bellwether issue in discussion of the safety of hydraulic fracturing, because where methane goes, other chemicals can go, too.

Drilling Accountability Bill Would Regulate Fracturing Too

A Senate bill aimed at cracking down on oil drillers after the Gulf spill includes a measure to require companies to make public what chemicals they've injected underground in natural gas drilling.

Information From Gas-Drilling Companies Isn't Coming Easily, Congressmen Say

A congressional committee has been trying – without success -- to get some answers from gas companies involved in hydraulic fracturing. The quest for information shows how responsibility for drilling operations can be diffused among a variety of contractors.

Drilling Company Says It Will List Hazardous Chemicals Used in Fracking

Range Resources plans to disclose details of the chemicals it uses to drill for natural gas in Pennsylvania. Some believe that chemicals used in the drilling process, called hydraulic fracturing, are contaminating drinking water.

For Gas-Drilling Data, There’s a New Place to Dig

A couple of environmental and public health groups have teamed up to create FracTracker, a website that lets users post and find information about natural gas drilling and where it is happening.

A Fracking First in Pennsylvania: Cattle Quarantine

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued its first livestock quarantine, keeping 28 beef cattle off the market because they may have been exposed to contaminated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Gas Drilling: The Story So Far

Broad Scope of EPA’s Fracturing Study Raises Ire of Gas Industry

A new EPA study of hydraulic fracturing that has invoked the ire of drilling companies is expected to provide a broad look at the natural gas drilling process, including injection spills, leaks and water contamination incidents.

EPA Launches National Study of Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. EPA plans a nationwide study to see if reported water contamination in gas drilling areas is caused by the practice of injecting chemicals and water underground to fracture the gas-bearing rock.The study, hinted at for months, will go over the same ground as a much-criticized 2004 study that found that the practice did not endanger water supplies, even though that study did not test any water.

Gas Drillers Plead Guilty to Felony Dumping Violations

Two men from a gas-drilling company could get prison time and steep fines after pleading guilty to dumping wastewater into an abandoned oil well in Pennsylvania. The penalties are among the stiffest to be faced by drillers.

Stimulus Speed Chart

Just how fast are federal agencies getting stimulus money out the door?

State Oil and Gas Regulators Are Spread Too Thin to Do Their Jobs

As the gas drilling industry has boomed nationwide, the number of inspectors looking for violations has not kept pace, with some wells going uninspected for years. The imbalance between drilling growth and regulatory staffing levels could become a crucial factor as lawmakers and the public weigh how much environmental damage to expect in exchange for the benefits brought by the drilling.

Drilling Wastewater Disposal Options in N.Y. Report Have Problems of Their Own

A New York environmental report lists options for disposing of wastewater that would result from drilling in the Marcellus Shale, but the operators of those facilities say those options aren't feasible, presenting another obstacle to future drilling.

New York City Calls for Drilling Ban in Watershed, Rejects State Study

ew York City officials have called for a ban on natural gas drilling within the city’s 2,000-square-mile upstate watershed and urged Albany to withdraw its controversial draft environmental review for drilling across the state.

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